A fire at a Greensboro Street residence killed a number of animals Tuesday, but no injuries to humans were reported.
Starkville Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough said firefighters were dispatched to 608 Greensboro St. at 12:10 p.m. after a 911 call was placed.
None of the structure’s residents were at home at the time of the incident, but Yarbrough said three pets — two cats and a dog — and a number of chickens died in the fire.
The fire was contained to the structure’s kitchen and utility room. Firefighters did “a great job of stopping” the blaze, Yarbrough said, but the home was severely damaged by smoke.
Although the incident is under investigation, Yarbrough said the fire was likely sparked by a space heater, which was in use as a warming device for an incubator.
“As always, we want to remind residents to always check their smoke detectors and replace their batteries as needed,” Yarbrough said.
Grass fires threaten county property
Volunteer firefighters also sprinted into action midday Tuesday as at least three grass, brush and wood fires threatened properties across Oktibbeha County.
Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said first responders from six of county’s seven fire departments were dispatched to three fires in rapid succession in the Yeates subdivision, west of Starkville; Old West Point Road-Camps Airport Road area, and the Sturgis-Louisville roads area, south of Sturgis.
At least two of the three fires started as controlled burns, he said, but they eventually “got away” from those monitoring them.
“(The Old West Point Road-Camps Airport Road fire) got away from them; the Sturgis fire almost burned for two hours and spread sparks … toward the sawmill; and another guy was burning trash in his front yard when it got away from him, too, and burned up to his house,” Rosenhan said. “I want to sincerely urge people that if they have to burn, do it when there’s no wind and do it when you can stand there and watch. One guy wasn’t watching what was happening, and the wind took care of the rest.”
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch